Find out more about Costa Rica’s emerging aerospace cluster.
Costa Rican Aerospace Industry Overview
The first step taken to begin to foster and promote activities in the aerospace industry in Costa Rica was taken by the country’s government in July of 2010. At that time, its National Council for Aerospace Research and Development (CONIDA) was formed. The stated goal of CONIDA is to put Costa Rica’s aerospace industry on the international map and to promote the industry’s exports through the expansion of its endogenous activities.
By 2015, the aerospace industry in Costa Rica exported goods totaling almost US $1.6 billion. This included $US 790 million worth of electronics goods, plastics parts valued US $366.4 million, metal mechanics worth $US 334.8 million, and transportation equipment valued at approximately US $65 million.
The Aerospace industry in Costa Rica has a trade organization
Although the aerospace industry in Costa Rica is still in its infancy, it experienced another significant event on March 8, 2016, when twenty-five companies that operate in the country’s aerospace sector joined together to form the Costa Rican Aerospace Cluster (CRAC). The goal of the members of this group is to work together to increase the value of Costa Rica’s aerospace manufacturing and services activities, and to promote Costa Rica as a growing part of the global aerospace industry’s international supply chain.
Among the companies that operate in the aerospace industry in Costa Rica are firms that supply electronic components, metal mechanical parts, and other products such as software and services. Among the leading companies in the aerospace industry in Costa Rica are:
- Atemisa Precisión S.A. – Atemisa provides metal manufacturing and CNC machining services using conventional machinery such as lathes and milling cutters. The company is also a source in the aerospace industry in Costa Rica of wire electrical discharge machining services. Additionally, Atemisa is also capable of providing general tool manufacturing services in any material.
- Tico Electronics – Tico Electronics is a Costa Rican contract manufacturer that adheres to stringent assembly standards and requirements. The company specializes in the manufacture of motor and cable harness assemblies, as well as in airflow sensors and other aerospace industry components.
- Diez Orlich Precision – DO Precision machines parts for the aerospace industry in Costa Rica, as well as for its medical device industry from a variety of metals and plastics. The company also does prototype production work.
- Olympic Precision Machining – OPM is a leading contract manufacturer and supplier of precision machining services to OEMs worldwide. At its facilities in Barreal de Heredia, Costa Rica, Olympic Precision Machining has an extensive line of CNC milling and turning centers with which to service its customers in the aerospace, medical device, and telecommunications industries.
Companies that are seeking to become a part of the aerospace industry in Costa Rica are invited to make their home in the Central American Group’s Green Park Free Zone.
Aerospace Industry Outlook
Costa Rica is increasingly inserting itself into the aerospace global value chain. Although the country’s industry is in the emerging stage, its exports in this sector have increased at a steady rate of 8% from 2012 to 2016. Most of Costa Rica’s aerospace industry products are shipped to customers in the United States.
Many of the activities in the Costa Rican aerospace sector are focused on software and services in the aeronautics value chain. These firms specialize in software and design & engineering that require a skilled labor force with a university education.
Costa Rican aerospace contract manufacturers are focusing on high-mix, low-volume products with an emphasis on quality.